I was going from store to store at the mall this time last year, sorting through poorly made, highly priced Christmas tree skirts and thinking how the $75 I was about to spend could be put to so much better use.
After a couple of hours, I ended up leaving the store without one, deciding that there must be something around the house that I could use.
As I drove home, I began to take a mental inventory of what was stored in the closets and the first thing that came to mind was a 1940s wool cape that had been my Mom’s when she lived in Buffalo while Daddy was stationed at Fort Niagara during World War II.
No one had shown an interest in it when we divided her things, and I didn’t have the heart to throw it out, so it ended up in the back of my closet. Thick, plush and vibrant in color, it not only made the perfect skirt but it stimulated many a conversation on Christmas Eve about the early years of Mom and Dad’s marriage. I would not be surprised if residing somewhere in your home there is a cape, throw, coverlet, or bed cover – filled with memories – that would look beautiful under your tree.
For years, I have dealt with a level of quilt when it comes to my mother’s china. For years it has sat in my closet, unwanted by the family and devalued in a market disinterested in fine tableware. Mom used this china every year at holiday time, but I leave it packed in the closet. After all, it might get broken and it can’t be put in the dishwasher.
Well I am done with the excuses! If it has survived children and clumsy adults since 1941, I think it can survive my crew. And as to washing it by hand? Looking back, I realize how much I enjoyed the times when the women in the family gathered to wash the dinner dishes. I am thinking maybe a little female bonding with a dishtowel in tow might be a nice touch for my dinner this year!